Dianella tasmanica

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Dianella tasmanica
Dianella tasmanica57110.jpg
Dianella tasmanica (artist:W.H.Fitch)[1]
Dianella tasmanica 01 Pengo.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Hemerocallidoideae
Genus: Dianella
D. tasmanica
Binomial name
Dianella tasmanica

Dianella tasmanica, commonly known as the Tasman Flax-lily[2] or Tasmanian Flax-lily[3] is a herbaceous strappy perennial herb of the family Asphodelaceae, subfamily Hemerocallidoideae, found in southeastern Australia including Tasmania. It has leaves to 80 cm, flower stem to 1.5 m, and the berries are not edible.[4] Blue flowers in spring and summer are followed by violet berries. It adapts readily to cultivation and is commonly seen in Australian gardens. According to the Australian government website, the fruit is edible and tastes somewhat like grapes.[5]


Dianella tasmanica was first described in 1858 by eminent English botanist and explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker.[1] The genus name is derived from the Roman goddess Diana, with a diminutive suffix -ella.[6]


Dianella tasmanica is a strappy herbaceous plant which grows to 0.5–2 metres (1–7 ft) high and wide, with a thick spreading rhizome under the ground. The green linear keeled leaves have finely toothed margins, and may reach 1 m (40 in) in length and 1.5–4 cm wide. The small (1.5 cm diameter) blue flowers bloom in spring and summer (August to February), and are followed by small roughly oval or globular violet berries which range from about 1.2 cm (0.5 in) in diameter.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Found southwards from Dorrigo in New South Wales,[7] and into Victoria and Tasmania, Dianella tasmanica grows singly or in clumps in shady spots in wet forests.[6]


Dianella tasmanica is a hardy plant which has been cultivated in gardens and as a pot plant for many years in Australia, preferring shade and regular moisture.[6] It can also be grown as an indoor plant, in a brightly lit space.[8] A form with variegated leaves known as "Rainbow" is in cultivation, as well as a compact form "Little Devil", and a salt-tolerant form with red-tinged leaves.[5]


  1. ^ a b Hooker, J.D. (1858), The botany of the Antarctic voyage of H.M. discovery ships Erebus and Terror. III. Flora Tasmaniae 2(6): 57, t. CXXXIII.
  2. ^ "Dianella tasmanica". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  3. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1164543.htm
  4. ^ Wild food plants of Australia, Tim Low
  5. ^ a b Davis, Lesleigh Lougheed (2009). "Dianella tasmanica". Growing Native Plants. Canberra, ACT: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  6. ^ a b c d Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (1984). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Volume 3. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-85091-167-2.
  7. ^ Wilson, K. L. "Dianella tasmanica Hook.f." PlantNET - NSW Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  8. ^ Ratcliffe, David & Patricia (1987). Australian Native Plants for Indoors. Crows Nest, NSW: Little Hills Press. p. 44. ISBN 0-949773-49-2.

External links[edit]